Your Healthy Family

Aug 20, 2013 12:16 PM by Annie Snead

Your Healthy Family: Local girl with epilepsy trying to get service dog

It's something that will give a Colorado Springs teenager with epilepsy the independence many of us take for granted - a service dog.
Amber Damron was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy a year and a half ago, since then she's been sleeping in her parents bedroom, but that's all about to change.
Amber's seizures are only at night, so this dog will allow her to stay in her own bedroom, go off to college, and accomplish all the things she wants, but the journey hasn't been easy; as she and her family are still working to get this dog.
"She's been so positive, she's been a real inspiration for us to keep walking during the hard times," said Teresa Damron.
Teresa and Farrell Damron noticed a lesion on their daughter's tongue last year. It was only sign that would eventually lead to Amber's diagnosis - epilepsy.
After going to many doctors, one told them she may be having seizures at night.
"So we pulled her into our bed for a few nights and within two nights of her being up in our bed we witnessed her having a full grand mal seizure. She bit her tongue blood came out," said Teresa.
Since then she's been poked and prodded. Back in february they did an overnight EEG.
"During that time there were therapy dogs that came through, there was a little therapy dog named Olive that came through and Amber lit up in a way that I forgot that she, I just didn't realize that she had lost that," Teresa said.
So she started researching therapy dogs.
A friend happened to see an ad for "Domesti-Pups." Amber got accepted and was told she'd receive a dog this year. The dog has been trained to lay on her side at night and alert when there's a seizure.
"I'll be able to go to retreats and trips with youth groups and go hang out with friends," said Amber.
Great news, but a very short amount of time to raise the $12,000 needed.
The family's having one final fundraiser before they go to get their pup in September - A spaghetti dinner this Saturday the 24th at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, from 4pm - 8pm. For more information head to - https://www.facebook.com/raisingforrichter
"Very excited to just get him, bring him home and have my new best friend," said Amber.
Amber doesn't know what kind of dog it will be or it's name, but calls it Richter because of the Richter Scale. She wants people to know she has a since of humor about epilepsy, so she can talk about it and promote awareness.

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